Concrete framed buildings are one of the most common types of construction in the U.S. and offer many advantages over other materials. Concrete does not require additional fireproofing and is safer than other buildings in the event of natural or manmade disasters. The concrete used as structural concrete is reinforced with steel; it provides a higher tensile strength and ductility than concrete alone. It is used in all kinds of construction such as dams, bridges, columns, beams, frames, and foundations.
Structural concrete or reinforced concrete is classified as precast or cast-in-place concrete and allows many of today’s modern structures to be built. The process of adding the steel to the concrete is based on a project’s specifications. The steel reinforcing bars (rebar) are put in a formwork or mold and tied into place with wire. This is called the reinforcement cage. The concrete is then prepared following specifications and poured into the form.
Many large skyscrapers, such as the One World Trade Center Tower and the new Wilshire Grand Center in Los Angeles are being built with a cast-in-place, reinforced concrete core. The reinforced core walls in the One World Trade Center are 6 ft. thick below grade and more than 3ft. thick above ground level. On the upper levels the concrete is 2 ft. thick throughout the core of the building. The Wilshire Grand will have a four-foot-thick reinforced core that surrounds the staircase in the center of the building.
As the term implies, cast-in-place concrete is poured into forms right at the construction site and then cured in place. Whereas precast concrete is cast in reusable forms or molds and then cured at the plant. There it is carefully monitored. Once it is cured, it is moved to the jobsite and installed into place. The advantage to this method over cast-in-place concrete is that the forms can be reused over and over again, which keeps down the cost. Also there is more control with the process and is done in a safer environment.
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